Unignorable by Oliver Aust and how I read (my reading system)

I just finished reading Unignorable by Oliver Aust. I read it over the last few days, and as I had a few days off, I worked a bit on my “reading system.”

Oliver’s book is about building your personal brand, and one of the things to do is sharing. This post is a book review and a look at my current “reading tech stack.” Let’s go:

My reading system

I read quite a lot. When I read fiction, I just read and enjoy it. For non-fiction, I often take notes and highlight. I used multiple systems how I do it, and for those of you who know me, I need to change these systems from time to time to stay interested.

The “tech-stack” I was looking for needs to be a super low threshold for me. It allows me to highlight and comment in a perfect world, then aggregates these highlights and comments into a central repository and allows me to find and reread the things I want to remember. As I am using many different channels/ media, I use multiple “tools” to get this done. Here is how I do it (as of October 2020)

Consumption and capturing layer

I read and listen to a lot: Blogposts, Websites, Paper Magazines, Books, eBooks, Kindle, Podcasts, and some more. I want to use the built-in highlighting and commenting features where possible, and I sometimes want to save something on the web or in a blog to read later.

  • Digital Books: Kindle, iBooks, Medium, and Feedly have their own highlighting and commenting systems
  • Blogposts and Websites: I want to read later or want to tag/ remember/ highlight I save to Instapaper or directly in my Resonance Calendar (Here is a video that can give you some inspiration on how to build your resonance calendar).
  • Paper books: I use readwise.io to scan passages of the books I read. This works so easily and well that for the first time, I don´t find it annoying to use my phone to capture text in books in “reading situations” that, in my case, don´t involve a studio-like environment but rather weird perspectives and lighting.
  • Podcasts: Most of the time, I listen to podcasts and take notes. Since last week I am using Airr to listen to podcasts and user their notetaking feature to highlight bits I want to remember. As they are transcribing the podcasts, the highlights are saved as text snippets in Instapaper.
  • I still need to figure out if I want to/ can include video in this.

Aggregation/ Learning Layer

I use Readwise to aggregate all highlights. Once I had set up the synchronization of my capturing layer with Readwise, I started using the learning features of Readwise to resurface highlights and notes automatically. I get one email every day with six highlights with a priority on recently read content. Here is Readwise’s post on how to actually use what you read.

Reference Layer

I synchronize my Readwise highlights into my RoamResearch database and my Notion based resonance calendar. I have not figured out yet which of the two tools I like more to use for this particular purpose. As the content is automatically synced anyway, I might choose in a few weeks.

And what about Oliver's book Unignorable?

I think it is a great read. In a very structured way, Oliver guides through the process of building a truthful personal brand. Here are some of my personal highlights from the book:

This is obvious, I think:

There are practical exercises in the book, and there are additional resources in the downloadable workbook:

Obvious but distilled in a good and fitting way:

And my friend Insa Klasing is in the book. I think there might be future posts coming out of our regular conversations. ;-):

I can totally relate to this:

Thank you for reading this far. It took me less than 60 minutes to write this piece, and the quotes actually are exported from Readwise. (Super handy, had not done this before). I hope this is helpful and relevant to you.